by | Oct 31, 2022 | Films


Secret Base Cinema presents


From ancient folklore, the epic story
of an unlikely hero rising up to defend
Kyiv from barbaric foreign invaders.


One Night Only, Thursday November 17, 7:00

Adults, $10 adv, $15 door. Students $8 adv, $12 door.


This month Andy and Ian of Secret Base Cinema return with a vintage gem, the recently restored version of the Russian classic ILYA MUROMETS, an epic adventure story taking place centuries before the Russian Revolution, rise of communism and creation of the USSR.

Set in Kyiv in medieval times, this is the story of a noble people with limited resources defending their motherland from barbaric attack by a larger, stronger invader led by a vicious bully.

When the film was made in the 1950’s, Mosfilm – the state-controlled Russian movie studio – had no idea that the central premise would become highly ironic in light of the current situation with Ukraine besieged by Russia.  Instead of the intended Cold War Soviet nationalism, seen now ILYA MUROMETS presents a patriotic rallying cry for the Ukrainian people of today.

To set the stage, a brief bit of history:
While Russians are primarily descended from Slavs, Kievan Rus (the forerunner of Russia) was founded by Vikings of the same name in the mid-9th century and the two cultures merged over time. Later, Russia was ruled by the Mongols under the Golden Horde from the 13th century until 1480, during which Russian principalities became vassals of their Mongol overlords.

In this period Ilya emerged as a “bogatyr” (warrior hero), appearing in Slavic poems and folklore found in the oral histories of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Similar to knights in other cultures, the bogatyrs were honor-bound to protect their mother land against foreign invaders, especially the Tatars, aka Tugars. Prominent among these heroes was Ilya of Murom, about whom Nikolay Karamzin wrote the poem “Ilya Muromets” in 1795.  As the legend goes, Ilya Muromets was called to protect the city of Kyiv, leading its army against the barbaric forces of the Tugar tsar Kalin.

The history of Kievan Rus and the early Russian people and territories is complex and fascinating, check out Wikipedia to learn more.   More on the role of the Vikings in early Ukraine: Timothy Snyder, Yale University: The Making of Modern Ukraine – Vikings, Slavers, Lawgivers – the Kyiv State. Snyder’s series of lectures on the emergence of Ukraine is comprehensive and worthwhile for anyone who wants to know how we got the current state of war.

About the Film:
• Alexsandr Ptushko’s 1956 production of ILYA MUROMETS was the first Russian film shot in anamorphic CinemaScope and stereo sound. An engrossing adventure/fantasy epic, the film features valiant knights, panoramic landscapes, a three-headed dragon, a barbaric dictator and massive battle scenes reportedly employing 106,000 extras and 11,000 horses.  Indeed, the Russian army was employed as extras when filming the siege of Kyiv.

• Before the advent of computer generated imagery (CGI), Ptushko combined matte paintings, scale models, optical effects, multiple exposures, puppets, robots and live actors to produce a visual feast impressive for its time.

• The 4K restoration from the original 35mm negative was released this summer, enhancing the inventive settings and dramatic spectacle as well as the overall viewing experience!



Director Aleksandr Ptushko, Russia, 1956/2022, 91 min, Not Rated.

☀ THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google MapGarfield Parking Options
Covid-19 vaccination and masking is recommended but not required on weekdays for in-theatre admission.

☀ One Night Only
Thursday November 17, 7:00

Adult Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Student Tickets are $8 in advance, $12 at the door.
Students must present a valid current student ID for admission.

Tickets available online via the Tix Button (top of this webpage), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 information can be found on the CWC Policies Page.


Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.

Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.


SBC Sponsors

Please support our Secret Base Cinema sponsors…

Hail Records & Oddities  … Paper Street Trading Co. …  Conveyor Belt BooksCincinnati World Cinema


It couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

For CWC patrons, general manager Michaele Kadivnik offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on the website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should present your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of ticket.

HOURS: MON-TUE, closed; WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking. RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974 or

SAFETY PROTOCOLS, from Butcher & Barrel management:
“ALL GUESTS are required to wear face masks when they arrive, and while in any common spaces. In compliance with the most recent government guidelines, we cannot allow guests to wait for a table in common areas and reservations are accepted for groups of UP TO 10 guests ONLY.”

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